Car market blasted

By BELINDA SCOTT

VINCE Testa's Coffs Car Market has ruffled a few feathers even before it opens for business at the showground tomorrow.

Mr Testa is opening the weekly market for people who want to sell vehicles privately and plans to hold it each Saturday from 8am to 4pm.

He believes he is providing a vital community service as well as helping to solve Coffs Harbour City Council's problem of having cars for private sale parked along the edge of the Pacific Highway creating a traffic hazard.

But the second-hand car market copped a spray from the Motor Traders Associa- tion, with the MTA warning consumers of the dangers of buying cars in this fashion, saying those who did so were left without a warranty and also risked buying deregistered, unroadworthy or stolen cars.

"Second-hand car markets are, I believe, the largest sales area for re-birthed vehicles and it is also an easy way for unscrupulous individuals to dispose of sub-standard or even stolen vehicles, " said the chief executive officer of the MTA, James McCall.

Mr Testa said people trying to sell their cars on the highway had received warning notices from Coffs Harbour City Council, after objections from nearby residents and fears that people slowing down to look at the cars were causing traffic accidents.

The former co-ordinator of Coffs Harbour CARE said he had been researching the idea of the market for some time and the volume of phone calls in response to his advertising proved the community need for the service.

He said the market would feature any kind of vehicles that needed registration, including caravans, motorcycles and trailers and he would be simply displaying them. Sales would be made by the cars' owners.

The Central and North Coast district manager of the MTA, Murrae Davis, said Coffs Harbour car deal- ers had asked him to take action to make people aware of the pitfalls of car markets.

He said car dealers, who invested a lot of money in yards, staff and advertising, were also putting pressure on councils up and down the coast to get private forsale cars off the streets.

"It's not the people who might put an old car up for sale after someone in the family dies, but the guys who sell 10 or 20 cars a month off the side of the road under different names and telephone numbers," Mr Davis said.

The owner of a car market which operated at the Jetty 10 years ago said his business could not compete with 'Kerbside Motors'.



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